Patients’ preferences for treatment have a strong influence on their adherence to treatment but it is not yet known what those are based on. The ‘Choice Study’ aims to find out what factors patients consider when selecting a therapy for depression.
As well as surveying people with depression themselves, the researchers also want to interview their family and friends. The study is not seeking to recruit people with bipolar disorder or other mental illness.
Prof Richard Gray, who is leading the research in the university’s School of Nursing Sciences, said: “Our aim is to understand how people with depression make decisions about their treatment.
“We want to find out what people take into account when choosing a treatment. Do patients really know what they are opting for when selecting antidepressants or talking therapy for their depression, or not taking any treatment at all?”
The researchers are looking for 60 volunteers – 30 who have been recommended or have received treatment for depression by a health care worker using antidepressants, psychological therapy, or alternative therapies, and 30 family members and friends.
“We are interested to talk to volunteers about the treatment choices that were offered to them, what treatment they chose, and how they made that decision,” said Prof Gray.
“Their views are really important for us and will be used to help patients make informed decisions about treatment for depression,” he added.
Volunteers must be over 18, and have been recommended or treated for depression within the last 12 months, or be a close family member or friend to such a person.
Participants will be invited to join in two small group sessions, with about six other volunteers, at UEA. Each session should take around two hours.
This study is run in collaboration with Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Foundation NHS Trust, NHS Norfolk, NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, and Age UK.
To find out more about the research or to volunteer, contact researcher Ada Mackovova by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07707 298 277.